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How Much Tulle Fabric Is Needed To Make A Tutu?

Do you want to try your hand at making your very own tutu? Tutus are downright fun whether worn by kiddies or adults.

Because of their popularity, ready-made tutus can be quite expensive. Making your own might save you on costs, and you will also have a lot of fun along the way.

So, how much tulle fabric is needed to make a tutu? This is the first thing you should consider before starting your project. The truth is, you will need a lot of tulle to make even a small tutu. The exact amount of fabric needed will depend on the desired length, waist size, and how fluffy you want the outfit to be.

Read on to find out how much tulle fabric you need to make a tutu and a step-by-step guide on making a sew and non-sew tutu.

How Do I Calculate How Much Tulle I Need To Make a Tutu?

How Do I Calculate How Much Tulle I Need To Make a Tutu

Because of a tutu’s gathered nature, you will need to buy plenty of tulle to ensure you have enough. From experience, buying fabric from a bolt is more cost-effective, given that you’d be buying plenty of tulle for this outfit.

Alternatively, you can buy tulle by the spool, which measures 6″ wide. The main advantage of buying by the spool is that the tulle is already cut into the desired width for making a standard tutu, so this will save you time. You will only need to cut the spool tulle once to achieve your desired length.

If you opt for tulle on a bolt, you will need approximately 2-4 yards (1.8-3.6m) for a baby’s tutu, 5-7 yards (4.5-6.4m) for a small or medium size adult tutu, and about 8-10 yards (7.3-9m) for a large adult tutu.

If you choose to go with the spool, how much tulle you need will depend on the tutu’s size. Tulle sold on a spool measures approximately 24 yards (23m). As such, you will need about 2-3 spools for a child-size tutu, 4-5 for a mid-size adult tutu, and 7-8 for a large adult-size tutu.

To calculate how much tulle you need to make a tutu, you need two numbers: the length and waist.

  • Length: Determine how long you want the tutu to be, measuring from your waist down to your knees. Add 1 inch to this number to account for sewing and folding.
  • Waist: Use a tape measure to get your waist length. Divide the resulting number by 3.14 to get the radius and then by 2.

Add the length to the waist radius to approximate how much tulle fabric you will need. If the number is 27 or lower, that is a small-sized tutu, and you will need about 6 yards (5.5 m). You will need about 12-20 yards if the number exceeds 27. (11-18m)

Remember to buy lining in the same color as the tulle. When calculating how much lining you need, multiply your waist circumference by 1.5.

Now that you know how much tulle fabric is needed to make a tutu let’s go through the actual steps of making one using these measurements.

How To Make a Tutu (Sew and Non-Sew Methods)

How To Make a Tutu (Sew and Non-Sew Methods)

There are two ways to make a tutu: sew and non-sew. Sewing is more demanding, but if done well, you will get a better quality tutu for special occasions such as date night.

Non-sew tutus are easy to make. But, a lot of work goes into cutting the material into the desired length and attaching the cut strips of tulle to an elastic band.

I will take you through the sew and non-sew methods of making a tutu.

Method 1: How To Sew A Tutu

You will need the following supplies to sew a tutu:

  • Soft tulle
  • Lining in a matching color
  • Elastic
  • Tape measure or yardstick
  • Thread in a matching color
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Butcher paper

Step 1: Make a pattern piece

Use a pencil and yardstick to draw a pattern for your tutu on butcher paper. The pattern should be in half a circle. Cut and set aside the pattern piece.

Step 2: Fold the tulle fabric

Fold the tulle fabric width-wise and then fold it again like a book and again width-wise to achieve eight layers of tulle.

Step 3: Match your pattern piece

Place your pattern piece on the folded fabric. Follow the outline to cut the pattern onto the fabric. If the tulle is too small to cut a full circle on, sew two sets of two-half circles, resulting in 4 circles.

Step 4: Sew a basting stitch

Baste one of two full circles at the top using a hand needle. Repeat this with the other two full circles. You now have four circles. Place these circles one on top of the other, placing pins to mark each of the four quarters.

Step 5: Sew the elastic band together

Bring the edges of the elastic band together, creating a small overlap. Sew the edges together to make a waistband.

Step 6: Attach the tulle fabric to the elastic band

Pin the fabric to the interior of the elastic band. Ensure that the pins match the tulle’s quarter. Next, sew a zigzag stitch, securing the tulle to the elastic band.

Step 7: Attach the lining

Sew the cut edges of the lining to form a cylindrical shape. Sew baste stitches around the top edge of the lining and gather it to fit around the waistband.

Pin the lining under the tulle and use a zigzag stitch to secure the material to the elastic. Trim excess lining so that it is the same length as the tulle.

That’s it! You can now show off your DIY tutu!


Method 2: How To Make a Non-Sew Tutu

Follow these easy steps to make a no-sew tutu:

Step 1: Measure and cut tulle fabric

Lay the tulle fabric on a flat surface to ensure the strips you cut are straight. If you buy tulle on a bolt, first cut it into strips measuring 7″.

Step 2: Cut the fabric to your desired length

After you decide on the length of your tutu skirt, you can cut the tulle to this length. The length of the skirt will be approximately half the length of the strips you cut.

For example, if you want a tutu measuring 15″ (38 cm), you should subtract 1 inch (2.5 cm) to account for the folding and wrapping of the tulle to the waistband.

Cut all the tulle into strips of the same size.

Step 3: Tie the ends of the elastic band

Cut the elastic band according to your waist measurement. Then, bring the edges together and tie them in a knot. Pull the elastic to fasten the knot.

Step 4: Wrap the elastic around an object

Use a dummy or pillow to hold the elastic band. The object you use should be close in size to the waist of the tutu’s owner. This placement helps to stabilize the elastic when attaching the tulle strips.

Step 5: Fold the tulle strips in half

Pick up 3-4 strips of the cut tulle and fold them halfway lengthwise. Working with several strips at a time will give your tutu a full look. Ensure that the edges of the strips are lined up and even.

Step 6: Tuck the strips under the elastic band

Insert one finger through the fold, keeping the strips even. With your finger still in place, tuck the folded part of the tulle strip under the elastic band from below. Slightly pull the fold up through the band, so it hangs by about 1 ½”.

Step 7: Loop the ends through the fold

Pick up the hanging ends of the tulle strips and loop them through the fold to make a knot. Don’t make the knot too tight. Allow it to be snug enough to move the tulle strips along the elastic band.

Repeat this process until the entire elastic band is filled with tulle strips. The more tulle you add, the fluffier the skirt will turn out. Be sure to slide the knotted tulle strips together, adding volume to the skirt.

Summary: How Much Tulle Fabric Is Needed To Make a Tutu

Whether or not you can sew, making a tutu is not out of reach but it all starts with buying enough fabric. How much tulle fabric is needed to make a tutu will depend on the desired skirt size.

It goes without saying that the smaller the skirt, the lesser fabric you will need. A bigger skirt will demand more tulle.

A tutu skirt uses a lot of tulle, so be prepared to buy plenty of this fabric, even for a small skirt, and more if you want a voluminous tutu. You are better off buying more fabric than you need than realizing you have less than what you require in the middle of the project.

I hope this guide answers your questions on how much tulle fabric you need to make a tutu for yourself or your loved ones!


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